The spectral melodies of Late Nite Howl are a far cry from Pablo Dodero’s background in frantic screamo with Mae Machino and hardcore punk-and-roll with Teenage Kicks. But, in stripping away everything besides the bare bones, the Tijuana minimal folk (or freak folk, or new weird America, or anti-folk) musician taps into something vast.
“It’s interesting to see how people react to an acoustic set,” says Dodero. “Some people are bored to death and some are pulled in. I feel very vulnerable onstage with only these few elements, and I think that’s [in accord] with the reason I play music. I feel this setup lets me showcase and hone my skills as a songwriter.”
Sure, Dodero’s lyrics are candid, wistful, even confessional. But they are delivered with a stoney, tranquil finality more apt for an epitaph than coffee-shop crooning. You can feel the spirits moving over his voice.
“It’s pretty much just making peace with a lot of situations around me,” Dodero says of his 2011 Late Nite Howl EP. “I think it truly reflects a shift in me, from being an ‘angry young man,’ bummed most of the time, to a more accepting and active person.”
So, how has reverting back to a full band influenced his solo songwriting?
“It has helped me listen to versions of my songs,” Dodero says. “We fool around with a lot of cheesy synths and it helped me create this palette of sounds that I would like to slowly incorporate into the new material I’m writing.”
Late Nite Howl is recording material for an LP and will be releasing a few teaser tracks soon. He also has more videos in the works (Google “Days Have Gone”) and plans on going back to Mexico City in the future.
Let loose a howl at Soda Bar on Sunday, August 25, when Dodero plays with Minnesota-born troubadour Luke Redfield and local country/jazz quintet Ed Ghost Tucker. Or head down to Tijuana on Friday, August 30, for a show at Moustache Bar with Late Nite Howl, Luke Redfield, and burgeoning TJ post-rock/jazz outfit Perihelios.